Girlfriend of 18 months “honored” that she finally shares equal status with boyfriend’s dog

-ATLANTA

Sydney Glascow and boyfriend Allen Platano recently celebrated their 18 month anniversary. Sydney knew the celebration was going to be special, but she never would have let herself hope for what unfolded. At a dazzling dinner in the city, Allen cleared his throat shared something so deep and special that tears sprang to Sydney’s eyes.

“Babe, you know I’m not a sappy man but I have to tell you – I think.. I’m beginning to care about you as much as I care about Buddy.”

Sydney could barely believe her ears. She knew what a special connection they shared, and her heart nearly exploded to think that her connection with Allen was equally as special.

“Does this mean I can sit with both of you on the sofa now?” She asked breathily. Allen paused. “I never thought about the implications but.. maybe. Wait, hold on…” he mused for a tormenting 15 seconds. “Yes!”

Sydney sprang up from her seat and began to dance energetically, just like Allen liked. “Dreams really do come true!”

couplewithdog

30 nuggets of wisdom for 30 years

My 30th birthday is just around the riverbend*, so this Gallowolf would like to cry the wisdom she’s learned to the blue corn moon. Please commit all of these to memory and send me a $30 cashier’s check every time my lil nuggets of wisdom save you from a pickle.** Thank you in advance.

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A-ooooooooooo

Drums, please!

  1.  You don’t have to date everyone who’s a good person
  2.  Be okay with uncertainty in relationships
  3.  Don’t try to engineer and control any relationship, especially romantic
  4. People don’t owe you affection or attention when you do something nice for them
  5.  Talk to your Grandma like a peer and be ridiculous with your nieces and nephews
  6.  Allow yourself to feel your feels
    feelings
    All legit, y’all.
  7. Don’t let your feels control you
  8.  You’re responsible for your own feelings, but be aware of how you are prone to feel after spending time with any person
  9. Spend time with people who make you feel good
  10. You can forgive people but still protect yourself from bad characters
  11. Most people are schmucky schmuckersons
  12. Celebrate and hold onto the people that aren’t schmucky schmuckersons
    holdon.jpg
    Me holding onto someone great
  13. People who bring exciting drama into your life are also likely to bring a bunch of hurt into your life.
  14. Go to the arts for your dramatic fix
  15. Finding things to laugh at is serious business
  16. The expensive car is *not* worth it
  17. Eating more expensive healthy food *is* worth it
  18. Neglecting your health is not financial prudence– it’s a great strategy to make all your borderline acute health issues full blown chronic health issues
  19. Try to find joy in challenges instead of focusing on the stress
  20. Stop feeling sorry for yourself
  21.  You can be mature and intelligent and still wildly silly
  22. It’s not necessary or wise to trust everyone in a Christian community
  23. Allow yourself to dwell on and obsess about how beautiful something is
  24.  Weighted blankets are heavenly

    babysleeping
    Actual image of my mind when under a weighted blanket
  25.  It’s worth the AC cost to turn down the temp enough to not sweat at night
  26.  Allow yourself to consider you are wrong about everything
  27. Don’t let uncertainty paralyze you
  28.  You don’t have to listen to everyone’s advice, even if they’re great people
  29. Try
  30.  God is bigger and more confusing than you ever imagined

cosmic

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*By “just around” I mean in like 2 months. But that’s none of your business!

**Although if a Trader Joe’s kosher dill pickle was after me, I would say “take me now” and swoon at its delicious foot.

Doing this one thing will help you snag a man

My recent success with tricking a man into dating me for longer than three weeks has created a ripple of excitement in my social groups. Everyone keeps asking how we met. Some are just trying to make conversation, but others are on a quest for information. Information that will help give them clues about how they should go about entrapping a man.*

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Come to me my prettyyyyy

Never one to be restrained by the shackles of humility, I am assuming the responsibility to guide my single sistren towards the men of their dreams. Initially I was planning to put together a master list of all the sly techniques I used to rope in my boo,** but instead I think I will start with just one powerful tool.

She who intends to snag a man must first know a man. -C Gallo

That’s right. Men must be aware of your existence in order for them to succumb to your advances. The more men you know, the more likely you are to meet someone whom you actually like and who actually likes you.

Now, let us explore why you might not know any men. Off the top of my head, let us consider that 1) you are not involved in any activities, hobbies, or groups in which you would ever meet a man, and 2) Well.. no, I think point #1 pretty much covers it.

“C Gallo! Whatever doth thou mean?” Thou might be exclaiming. Well, I have noticed a theme among many women who are unhappily free of betrothment: their daily lives almost seem specifically designed to never intersect with a red-blooded*** male except by pure serendipity.

Si, my lovely senoritas. Working in human resources, getting your nails done, attending jewelry-making parties, and joining the local garden club is probably not going to open you up to many naturalistic opportunities to meet men. Sure, you may meet a few. Of those few, it is technically possible that a few of those will be straight. Of those, a few may be single AND remotely attractive. Technically. But then you’re left with 0.32 males, which not only puts you in a desperate position but is also mathematically awkward. So how to expand the mildewy pond of lackluster Jo-Jos into a sparkling pool of eligible baches?

I recommend the following: Engage in anything that men would have fun doing and involves interaction. Try swapping your night digging through a local boutique for a shooting session at the range. Instead of doing yoga, do kung-fu. Instead of planning ladies-only events, host a game night and invite boys. Join a coed kickball team. Go rock climbing. You get the idea!

A few caveats I must include –

  • I can’t guarantee you will find oodles of men who want to date  you immediately. You are likely to meet many menfolk who should be pals-only. That is not bad. Enjoy them! Guy friends are the best! Plus, knowing 10 men instead of 1 man (who is your best friend’s hubby) will increase your odds by 1000%.
  •  I understand you may be participating in a crochet convention because that is your natural interest. Moreover, maybe shooting guns offends your sensibilities, and you genuinely dislike doing anything more physically challenging than lifting your phone above your head for that perfect selfie angle. I’m not telling anyone to change their personality. But I would strongly urge you to not immediately rule out all activities that tend to be male-dominated purely because they are a little outside of your comfort zone or you fear you would be the only woman there. If you are … good! Less competition, less women to kill!
  •  I beg of you! Don’t only engage in an activity in order to meet men. You will come across thirsty. Do something that even if you haven’t met anyone eligible within 6 months, will give you a new skill or experience that sparks joy in your ticker. Best life, people, best life!

I have most definitely rocked your ballet socks right off. You can thank me later. For now, go forth and carpe hominis!

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— EDITORIAL NOTES —

* you don’t have to be *so* amused by this! Hurtful!

**I don’t feel comfortable sharing my black magic in this public forum.

***I’m absolutely certain this will rub someone the wrong way, but Ima say it. I’m talking about men who are unabashedly men. Men who can change a tire, squash a bug without crying, and will never steal your scarf to jazz up their outfit. You get the idea. If you don’t want a red blooded male, by all means stay the course!

Love or treat (yoself)?

There are several Oprah-esque sayings that are floating around — 


“You have to take care of number one before you can take care of anyone else!”

“Treat yoself!”

“If you don’t love yourself you can’t love anyone else.”

Treat Yo Self GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
We all know this gif was 100% obligatory

–For the sake of conciseness, I’m going to use Treat Yoself to encapsulate all of these self-affirming ideologies–

Part of me thinks this inspirational folk wisdomry in Treat Yoself is a bucket of rat poo. My main problem with the self-love bonanza is related to the context in which these statements are uttered, more than the actual statements themselves. Usually they are said to encourage people to be selfish or indulgent. I can only speak for myself, but I do not know anyone who is so caught up in being selfless and sacrificial that they somehow neglect themselves.* I would argue that most people need to hear “Sure take care of yourself, but why doncha try caring for others,” or “Treat (people less fortunate than) yoself!” or “Try to love… or at least consider the feelings and wants of… someone besides yourself.”

My second sub-issue with the Treat Yoself mentality is that treating yourself in terms of indulgence isn’t really a treat for you in the long run. Most people want to have nice bodies that function well, but if they continuously “treat themselves” with McDonald’s fries and Starbucks frapaccinos and refuse to move their body in any way that gives it strength, speed, or flexibility, their bodies will soon become… something that doesn’t spark joy. Most people want to have the treat of traveling the world, but if they continuously live above their means and treat themselves with expensive food, entertainment, cars, etc. in the domestic realm, poofity goes the treat of travel.

My third and final irritation with Treat Yoself is a little more specific to Christians, although I don’t think you necessarily have to ascribe to the apostle’s creed to get something out of this. Jesus did not prance about ancient Israel proclaiming a new covenant of self-love. If anything, the level of self-sacrifice he and many of his disciples demonstrated is plum terrifying. Remember Luke 9- “foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man [Jesus] has nowhere to lay His head.” Or Luke 17 “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” Or how about the sobering Mathew 10 warning “Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them…” And these are only what Jesus said, but when you consider what he did…! I have serious doubts that Jesus was contemplating a bubble bath and wine in the Garden of Gethsemane, and there is nothing less Treat Yoself in all of history than a man dying for people who hated and misunderstood him.  

So, my beef with Treat Yoself is that 1) it doesn’t seem necessary, given the deep self-indulgence and entitlement that most of us already have and 2) temporary treats often undermine long-term treats (which may or may not be more wholesome in nature because involve dreaming, scheming, and the real longings of your heart–not simply the capricious whims of your body and immediate longings) and 3) it doesn’t seem particularly “on message” with people who are presumably interested in modeling the radically sacrificial nature of Jesus.  

Yet! Part of me sees some truth glimmering through all that rat poo.

The major reason I haven’t completely dismissed Treat Yoself is largely related to mental health and margin**. Let’s take even a light example – being stressed out. When I am stressed, I don’t “see” other people or take particular interest in their needs. I am thinking of whatever is stressing me out, and how to make myself feel better during the stressful time. That means I refuse to think about hard or important questions, and dissipation becomes my goal. I avoid people who are also stressed out because their stresses suck my mind further into a cesspool of anxiety. How can I be a rock for someone when I’m crumbling? Instead of having interesting and joyful conversations with my friends and family, I hijack quality time by dumping my stress on whichever poor soul was unfortunate enough to spend time with me.

Thus, if spending time in nature, enjoying beautiful and lovely things, getting my toes painted happy colors, and reading lighthearted fiction can help reduce my stress to the point I can stop my navel-gazing long enough to look at other people… is that an indirect way to love others? I think it could be.

Where does that leave us, then? I think the key might be to Love Yoself, not Treat Yoself. Treating indicates indulgence. Love indicates more wholistic well-being. Think about a parent loving their child. Spoiling the child isn’t really love – spoiling a child is more indicative that the parent is too lazy to properly discipline, or too insecure to handle their child getting angry at them for rules that are meant to protect them. I think being an adult is learning how to parent yourself properly – love yourself, not spoil yourself. Be willing to deny your childish impulses so that you can be the person you actually want to be — and who the people around you need you to be.   

The world needs adults, not petulant children. So Love Yoself 😊

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*I do know some martyrs who make a big to-do of how they are ruining their lives for the sake of others… I do not consider that actual selflessness. It’s a twisted form of pride.

 **Double points for sneaking in a Christian buzz word! BAM!  

 **Double points for sneaking in a Christian buzz word! BAM!

I refuse to love you exactly the way you are

“Why can’t you love me for who I am?”

You’ve heard some variation of this question, whether from someone you actually know or while watching some dramatic interaction on the telly. It’s usually a question that doesn’t really want a real answer. It’s typically asked to shame the other person more than anything else. The implicit assumption is that real love wouldn’t want or ask for someone to change anything about themselves.

Toy Story 4 Disney GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I’m not sure if that’s true. Here is why.

  • You will change, guaranteed
    • As the renowned Timothy Keller points out in the Meaning of Marriage, you should never be so enamored by the person your partner is right now that you would be devastated if they ever change. Why? Because they definitely will. Experience changes us. Time changes us. Relationships change us! It’s inevitable.
  • You should want to change
    • Everyone has varying degrees of ickiness in themselves. Let’s take for example, me. I like myself. I think I’m pretty legit. Yet, I know I have flaws. My acknowledgment of my flaws doesn’t lead me to severe self-hatred, but I do want to tame or obliterate them depending on their severity.
  • People who love you should want you to change
    • My friends and family who support me in moving forward and becoming a better version of myself are good for me. I am thankful for them. Who wants a friend spitting out their tobacco and snarling “You think you’re better than us?” and resenting your growth? Not I, said the fly.  
  • You cannot change everything about yourself
    • An important distinction in this entire Chat du Change is to strive for – and hope for, in others – changes that are actually possible and/or likely. I may not like that I can be overly emotional sometimes, but barring a drastic personality change I’m not likely to become a stoic anytime soon. BUT, I can still hope to change how much I am controlled by my wavepool of feels.  
The Exorcist Look Doc I Really Dont Understand How Her Whole Personality Could Change GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

All that being said, I also know it’s foolish to enter into a relationship (romantic or otherwise) wanting and expecting someone to change in the exact way that I want — especially if that person shows no signs of wanting that change themselves. Or, even if they appreciate the idealized version of themselves, they are making little to no progress getting there.

[IMPORTANT ADDENDUM 04/12/19: I have had a few fellas that became very smitten with a version of Cgallo that wasn’t real. It’s a little delicate, but maybe the best scenario is to have clear double vision — the ability to see and love who someone is now, but also the ability to see, love, and support a future version of themselves that they see and want to become too. I think?! I ain’t no relationship therapist! ]

Altogether, I think what might be important is surrounding yourself with people who are excited for and encourage you to be the person you could and will probably turn into. Anddddd can put up with your flaws in the meantime. God bless ‘em!

Thank U GIF by Mauro Gatti - Find & Share on GIPHY

What to (and not!) learn from your past relationships

The last time I had a really bad breakup, people kept telling me “It wasn’t a waste as long you learned something from it.” I say this with full love in my heart for these people, but a week after a breakup is not a good time to hear this. I would think with great bitterness and characteristic drama, “Oh, so to learn that I’m unlovable, all I have to do is put myself through a heart-pulverizing breakup – fantastic.”

As time dribbles on, however, one does gain some perspective. Our minds sort of force us to learn something. Sometimes the learnt info is useful and helps us become a better person / partner… *BUT* I have learned that you can learn the wrong things and draw the wrong conclusions from your own experiences. 

What not to Learn

I think one of the most natural things to learn from a past relationship is signs and cues that whoever you’re dating is going to hurt you. You learned that his long delays between texts meant he was losing interest, or her need for “alone time” was really her need for cheaty-cheat times. It is all too easy to transfer that knowledge – of what that speific action for that specific person meant for your past relationship in that specific moment in time – to a new relationship. So if he takes a while to respond to a text or she turns down a Friday dinner to reportedly read Brandon Sanderson in her apartment, it’s easy to think “Welp, let me cut my losses early and move on before this all-too-familiar and way-too-painful scenario plays out again. I ain’t no fool!”

Wrong Donald Trump GIF by Election 2016 - Find & Share on GIPHY

While there are probably some general signs and cues someone is being a shady dickwad, I think this sort of learntedness is more likely to sabotage potentially healthy relationships than protect your lil ticker.

Jo-Jo’s delays between texts may have meant he was not that into you, but Captain Wonderful’s delays between texts may mean he is working at his job with integrity and turned off his phone so he wouldn’t be tempted to text you every five minutes. Amber’s alone time might have been a cover-up for her skanky side hustles, but Classy Clairice’s alone time might be a sign that she knows and takes care of herself.

Let me also interject, if I may,* that it can be a very dangerous game to discuss your significant other’s behavior with other people. Because just as people are prone to inappropriately generalize their past experiences to ruin their own relationships, they are equally prone to inappaoprirately generalize their past experiences and unintentionally ruin your relationships. So don’t let your best friend’s experience with a McDouche give you a frantic paranoia about your current partner. This can happen in like manner —

You (unconcernedly): “Yeah, Captain Wonderful and I haven’t been texting as much lately.”

Your best friend: “Oh no. I remember when I was dating McDouche, he started texting me less when he was pursuing another woman.”

You (concernedly:

Key And Peele Reaction GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

What to Learn

I think what has been helpful to me is to learn what you can “deal with,” and what you can’t. What’s a deal breaker, and what’s not. Think about your own role in things souring, and how you could do things differently.

Par example

You may have always loved country music. Maybe Jo-Jo hates country music, and never wanted to go to concerts with you. When you and Jo-Jo were dating, that drove you crazy. So you can learn that country music concert attending is a really big deal to you.

As for your own role, this is much harder and annoying to do. But you can learn that in the past you were too uncomfortable with relationship ambiguity early in the relationship. You picked apart and over-analyzed the relationship so much that it snuffed out its ability to develop organically. So you can learn to relax and enjoy the flirty texts and awkward silliness of a budding relationship without constantly pulling the relationship emergency break to have a long, drawn out convo about how, where, why your relationship is going.

So sure, learn — but learn the right stuff! RESIST PARANOIA !

Paranoid Classic Film GIF by Warner Archive - Find & Share on GIPHY

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Of course I may, it’s my blog! papow!

7 things you should never say to a friend getting over a break-up

People go through break-ups. Some break-ups are dramatic, others are just kind of awkward, but they all suck. Sometimes the suckiness is assuaged by the bright company and uplifting words of a friend. Sometimes the suckiness is exacerbated by the oppressive company and joy-sucking words of a … friend?

Yes! Many times well-meaning friends are the ones that make the getting-over-them process all the more torturous.

Here are seven things you may find yourself saying to friends after a break-up that are guaranteed to pick at their heart sores and help the bad feels fester.

1. “Just saw [exes name] at Applebee’s.”

Creeping Joel Mchale GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

No one needs their riveting documentary on organic kumquat farming* interrupted by a text from you telling them about an ex sighting. Did the ex look good? That will make your friend feel foolish for still having residual sadness. Did the ex look bad? That will make your friend feel guilty and consider reaching out, which we all know would be disastrous. There’s just no purpose in it. Put down your phone and stop creepin!

2. “I’m surprised you stayed with them for as long as you did.”

Will Ferrell What An Idiot GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This sort of statement just tells your friend you think they were a desperate loser. Your friend is already mourning the time lost on romanticals with their ex, and you’re just rubbing salt on the wound.

3. Have you thought about taking a break from dating?”

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If your friend is one of those people who plunged into their first long term relationship in 3rd grade and still hasn’t come up for air, maybe this would be a legit question. Keep in mind that for many people,  being in a relationship is the exception to the single-as-a-dollar-bill  rule. So suggesting they take an official break from something they just timidly forayed into is silly and unwarranted.

4. “I never thought they were good for you.”

This is like telling your friend “I knew you would be hurt all along. I know better than you. Told ya so!” Too little too late!

5.  “You are probably sad because you guys were a great fit.”

Why Would You Say That New Girl GIF by hero0fwar - Find & Share on GIPHY

Thanks, Captain Obvs! Does your friend need to remember all the reasons they are missing the ex boo? They are now going to sob themselves to sleep thinking about how they’ll never find someone else with so much life-mate potential.

6. “Have you considered online dating?”

Oh Brother Whatever GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

If your friend was born after 1958, chances are they have considered online dating. But that’s not really the point anyway. A grieving friend does not need your pedanticism or problem solving, they need someone to listen for a while, give them a hug and say “that sucks, I’m sorry,” and then hand them a puppy.

7. “If you think this is bad, just wait until you experience a break up after 30!”

Sad Will Ferrell GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

What’s worse than complain-bragging?  Grief bragging! Which is in actuality grief dismissal. As I told someone once, “Knowing there’s a broken leg out there doesn’t make my stubbed toe hurt less.”

 

Which friend are you – an uplifting bright sunbeam or oppressive joy-sucking drizzle ? Study these seven, examine yourself, repent, and walk toward the light! 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*everyone grieves differently!

 

John Crist v. Trey Kennedy: A fangirl’s guide

If you’re a single Christian lady who likes to lolz, you’re probably pretty confused about which single Christian celebrity is your true Boaz. On one hand you have John Crist – witty, insightful, creative, but on the other hand there is Trey Kennedy – goofy, youthful, dashing.

Lucky for you all, I have spent minutes carefully comparing the two, side by side, and have included the results from my in-depth analysis below. But before we get started, let me clear up a few questions that keep popping up on my search engine hits —

Q. Are John Crist and Trey Kennedy related?

A. In the family of God, yes! IRL, no.

Q. Are John Crist and Trey Kennedy gay? 

A. No, that doesn’t seem to be the case. But it seems that both use effeminate mannerisms as part of their comedy. Or maybe they’re both a little effeminate.. As the Gallomajer used to say, “It’s hard to tell, not knowing.’

Okay! Let’s move on to the ratings.

Lolz Factor

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Both are hilarious, but in very different ways. John Crist’s humor is more sarcastic, witty, satirical. Example –

Trey Kennedy’s humor is a bit more goofy and obvious. Example –

I will admit sometimes Trey Kennedy’s Instagram stories are a tad too “extra” for me. Also John Crist’s actual career is all comedy based, whereas Trey Kennedy’s also includes music.

So, by a photo-finish, I say the Lolz Factor is in John Crist’s favor!

Chrishometer

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Which one of these men will serve as the perfect spiritual guide for you and your family? Oo! This is a tough one. John Crist’s comedy is almost entirely based on poking fun at Christianity, but from an insider’s perspective – he’s laughing with us, not at us. Many of Trey Kennedy’s instastories and youtube videos are about goofy dads and singers… BUT he does have John 3:30 listed in his insta bioWhat is John 3:30 … lessee … *flips through well-worn, super high lighted bible* aha! “He must become greater, I must become less.” Whoa, Trey. Nice. In contrast, John Crist has no scripture references in his bio! In fact, he quotes a song from the secular music band, Nickelback! Tsk tsk tsk.  That seals it – Kennedy is a little more chrish than Crist!

Youthiness

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This is pretty simple – John Crist is in his mid-30s, Trey Kennedy is in his mid-20s. If you want a man who will be able to play with your 6 homeschooled kids in the backyard for years to come.. once again, I think Trey Kennedy may be your man!

Dolla dolla bills

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Oh I know you’re not shallow, but you do wonder – will they be able to clad their beloved in purple linen? Well, it’s very difficult to tell. When I googled their net worth, I got these suspicious results —

 

Under review? Pending?? Hmmm… well, let’s see if we can come up with something.. John Crist has a regular comedy tours, and the last time I bought a ticket it was pretty pricey – $30 a pop – for a show at a Baptist church no less! When I googled “Trey Kennedy music tours” I didn’t find nuffin! And although Trey Kennedy has 2x more Instagram followers than John Crist, John Crist nudges ahead in Facebook followers and destroys him in YouTube subscriptions. Thus, John Crist is probably your best bet for a home flowing with milk and honey.

 

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Fashion faux pas  

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The fashion choices of both of these men will inevitably be a thorn in the side of their future wives. Trey Kennedy’s windsuits are tragic, but John Crist’s abominable white belt and croc obsession are truly Gosh-awful. This is also a close call, but I think Trey Kennedy comes out the winner on this one!

Wow.. it looks like Trey Kennedy wins 3/5! Maybe he should be the one to set your cap for, ladies! Get to stalking and let me know how it goes!

❤ – Cgallo

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES — 

John Crist or Trey Kennedy — if either of you ever read this, know that I love you both and this post was written more to poke fun of single Christian women than either of you!

 

For the love of Chick Fil A, please no more Christian dating books

I   C A N N O T   T A K E   A N Y M O R E  C H R I S T I A N   B O O K S   A B O U T   D A T I N G.

upsetgirl
It’s too much y’all. (pixabay image, edited by moi) Also note that I didn’t include the Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller because that book is FIRE

Is it because my heart is hardened?

 

Is it because I’m living in sin and want to avoid conviction?

 

Is it because I am resistant to wisdom? 

 

No. It is for this simple reason — in no other area of Christian life have I seen Christian wisdom take such a phariseeical turn so quickly.

The authors are not necessarily to blame for this, but I think this is what happens — a Christian man/woman/couple figures out a way to date that seems in-line with the Christian faith. They then share their insights and wisdom from their own personal experiences. Christians read these books, and instead of seeing them for what they are –  musings by good but still-being-sanctified people – they see them as RULES that we all must follow, lest we be pegged as pagos. #pagopegged #ouch

But let’s all take a step back and get a little perspective — in biblio times, dating didn’t exist. You were a child, then boom you go through puberty, then boom you are married. This doesn’t mean that the Christian faith is irrelevant to how we date, but it does mean that pretty much any *specific* dating advice is just that – advice from humans – not the Word of God.

So let’s not perpetuate self-righteousness and phariseeism by acting as if the compilation of some Christian dude’s musings on dating is The Way the Truth and the Life. There is probably wisdom in many Christian books on dating, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that if you don’t follow that author’s recommendations you are rebelling against the God of the universe. For example – In Single, Dating, Engaged, Married,* Ben Stuart talks about how he would always tell his now-wife Donna the next time he was going to contact her. He saw this as a sweet way to reduce her stress – she didn’t have to worry about if / when he was going to contact her, she already knew – “I’ll call you tomorrow.” I agree, that is sweet. Does that mean that if a guy doesn’t communicate like that to you, you should kick him to the curb? No! It’s a nice specific example of how Christian faith can play out IRL, but it is by no means a rule.

Side note 1 – many dating books are probably somewhat useful for high-schoolers who are still living with their parents, and truly have zero life experience to help them navigate dating with wisdom. But there are some dating practices that are absurd if not impossible when you are living on your own (e.g. the dude asking the Dad’s permission to date). So let’s recognize that not ALL Christians get married when they are 19, and what worked for a man dating his wife in undergrad may not be useful for a 29 year old woman.

Side note 2 – I’m also getting cranky with Christian women who assume they are entitled to impart their sage dating advice. I don’t owe it to you to spill all the beans of my romantic life just because we are both Christians, and frankly many of you haven’t earned the right to tell me what to do or hear the intimate details of my life and heart. If you are concerned about my dating choices, how ’bout you pray for the Spirit to convict me directly instead of appointing yourself as my accountability supervisor. I suggest with all the gentle love I can muster that you are just as likely to turn me into an anxious self-righteous snoot pants than to protect me from harm. Just sayin’. As the modern sage John Crist would say, “check your heart.”

I plan to approach dating with the freedom Christ gained for me, as captured by the idea “Everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial.”** Earlier this year I demoralized a dating decision and thought “I can date this person if I want. We could have wild sex every night and guess what.. I would still be a Christian. Jesus might be grieved, but he would still love me. Now, knowing this, do I want to? What would be the consequences?” And that actually led me to a healthy decision that was MY decision, not a half-hearted, dutiful response to the pressures of others.

Okay.. that’s all! Be free!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*At least he talked about this in his Single | Dating | Engaged | Married sermons when he was preaching at Breakaway. I actually never read his book because I heard it was basically the written version of his sermons. 😀

**1 Corinthians 10:23

 

The clueless man’s guide to complimenting a woman

A friend of mine has beauteous eyes. They are probably her most beguiling feature. Some guys, when (possibly?!) trying to compliment her, say something like this —

Him [while staring into her eyes]: “Hey what color are your eyes?”

Her: “Ummm.. green.”

Him: “Really? Huh. Wasn’t sure.”

Her: “Okay….”

When she told me this, I was like, “hey guh, pretty sure he just thinks your eyes are pretty.. or he wouldn’t have brought it up.” But the execution was poor, causing confusion. In conclusion… Bad Strategy: Ask her what color her eyes are, as if you failed preschool and are not yet able to identify and name colors.

 

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Men: practice on complimenting this one eye until you get comfortable with the idea. In case you are confused, this eye is GREEN *eye roll*

 

Don’t give her the opportunity to misunderstand your compliment for a neutral statement about your sensory processing limitations.  Don’t make vague allusions to her features. Leave no doubt she is being complimented. Better Strategy: Tell her, “Your eyes are pretty.”

But if you really want to blow her away, be specific and let yourself be a little vulnerable maybe. Here’s a Gangsta-Level strategy: “Your eyes are very pretty. They’re like grey… with flecks of green. So if I’m staring at you, I’m sorry, but that’s why.”*

Yowza yowz! This last compliment shows the woman that 1) you understand basic colors 2) you took the time to think about why you liked her features so much 3) you like a physical feature that is most reflective of her inner spirit.

BOOM! You’re welcome men. Go forth and compliment like a boss!

 

— EDITORIAL NOTES — 

*A real man actually said this to a real woman, seriously! Gangstas of love in our midst!